Although the Z.N.E. 01 ANC delivers an energetic sound that will get your blood pumping during intense workouts, drawbacks like cumbersome controls and low battery life can’t be overlooked. The MSRP might also be questionable for some consumers, considering the strong competition out there. We like the sporty aesthetic of the Z.N.E. 01 ANC, as it complements the style and function of Adidas running shoes. Hard plastic and silicone make for a tough shell that can take a beating, and the sweat- and water-resistant rating (IPX5) protects the earbuds from moisture damage. That’s better protection than any Apple or Beats model. The charging cradle is also made of the same materials, so the exterior remains mostly scratch-free. Small details like the grooves on each side and the rubberized logo are nice touches. Compared to the AirPods Pro case, this one is bigger and bulkier, but not by much, and it secures the earbuds better thanks to stronger magnets. This model would have benefited more from an ear hook or oval design; both are known to provide a more stable fit. Adidas’ attachments seal the ear canal well, so the plugs don’t slip during exercise, but a little wetness causes some slippage. As for comfort, the Z.N.E. 01 ANC is comfortable to wear for about 2 hours at a time before fatigue sets in. Depending on your pain threshold, the ear cup may hurt a bit if you use it several times a day, but that shouldn’t be a problem for shorter workouts. The controls are both intuitive and practical. Playback and call management are controlled by single (play/pause/answer/end call), double (skip track) and triple (previous track) taps. A custom action command (long touch and hold) activates select features, including digital support, sound control, Spotify access, and activation of the Adidas Running app. Oddly enough, Adidas has made this the only customizable feature on the headphones. On-ear recognition is here for auto pause/play, and Siri, Google Assistant, and Bixby are all available for use, depending on your device. The three digital assistants respond accurately to commands, but the same can’t be said about the touch panels, which often misinterpret multi-tap gestures. Zound Industries has added a touch of sound to the Z.N.E. 01 ANC. Bass is accentuated and stays well with modern tracks, and the mids and highs sound amazing. There’s enough to satisfy your music hunger during commutes and workouts. Both visually and sonically, these headphones feature the same noise-cancelling technology as Marshall’s Motif A.N.C. wireless earphones. There are 10 ANC levels that can be set in the app to control the amount of noise you want to neutralize. The feature is effective for distraction-free listening during exercise, but only at Max level.

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